Adiemus is the creation of three veteran musicians: composer Karl Jenkins, Mike Ratledge (like Jenkins a former member of Soft Machine) as arranger of programmed percussion, and vocalist Miriam Stockley. They also enlist the talents of the London Philharmonic, which helps to balance out the huge sound created by all the layers of Stockley's voice and the additional vocals by Mary Carewe. The concept of the album was to create modern music using classical forms, such as rondo and ternary, and not individual songs. To further the universal aspect of the music, all the vocals are written as vowel and consonants sounds. The voice here is used as simply another instrument with which to make music and not to convey a lyric message. The result is a powerful wall of sound: a full orchestra and a giant choir created by multiple harmony tracks of Stockley and Carewe. The concept may be classical form, but the music contained within those strict forms is a mix of African-tribal and Celtic-style melodies. The resulting hybrid sounds like the musical love child of Enya and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
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AllMusic Review by Susan Cruickshank